Nobody has clean hands (with or without sanitizer) for the football programs at Clemson and Florida State regarding PandemicGate.
OK, if you have to choose, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is more wrong than right here. He said the following to reporters Sunday about Florida State wishing to postpone last Saturday’s game in Tallahassee due to a positive COVID-19 test that morning on Clemson’s roster: “If the standard to play was zero positive tests, we never would’ve had a season.”
Teams still would play.
In fact, despite evolving standards throughout sports due to the unpredictably of the pandemic, teams play now, even in Clemson’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), but we’ll return to that later.
As for the present . . .
Yeah, Florida State (2-6) wanted out of Saturday’s game since the Seminoles were slated to become roadkill for No. 4 Clemson (7-1) along nearby US 27.
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Such things happen when you’re not the Florida State of Bobby Bowden, Deion Sanders and national championships, and when BetMGM had you as a five-touchdown underdog moments before Saturday’s scheduled opening kickoff against the latest dynasty of college athletics.
Not only that, but yeah, after Florida State folks opted out of the game, the faces on Clemson folks turned shades of the team’s colors (white, purple and orange).
That was partly because this happened so fast, and partly because Clemson folks said they spent an estimated $300,00 on a needless trip to the Sunshine State, and partly because of something Clemson folks didn’t mention during their Florida State tantrum.
Well, that, along with $6 million, the amount of money each of the four teams received last season for reaching the College Football Playoff (CFP).
Let’s connect the dots.
Clemson hasn’t played since two Saturdays ago in South Bend, Ind., where the Tigers watched their No. 1 ranking vanish to then No. 4 Notre Dame 47-40 during a thriller in double overtime.
Now Notre Dame (8-0) is No. 2, and if the Fighting Irish join Clemson in sweeping their way through the rest of the regular season, both teams will meet on Saturday, December 19 during the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.
Under that scenario, Notre Dame likely would reach the CFP with a loss, but Clemson would have to win.
Which brings us to THIS guy.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence remains among the prime candidates for the Heisman Trophy, but he missed that Notre Dame game due to a positive test for the coronavirus.
Lawrence is back as Clemson’s football messiah with the long hair and the strong arm, and you’ve guessed it: He’s what the Tigers need to beat Notre Dame during that possible rematch in the ACC Championship for a sixth consecutive trip to the CFP and a chance for a third national title during that stretch.
Right now, Clemson is scheduled to play nobody the week before the ACC Championship Game.
That would give the Tigers more time to prepare for, say, a slew of Notre Dame running backs behind a bruising offensive line and an Irish defense allowing the fifth fewest points per game (16.2) among Power 5 teams.
See where this is going?
Clemson doesn’t want to postpone the Florida State game.
Clemson wants to kill it.
“To me, the Florida State administration forfeited the game,” Swinney told reporters, knowing he also was speaking to ACC officials.
If those ACC officials agree with Florida State to postpone the game, it would occur on Saturday, December 12, the week before the ACC Championship Game, and that bye for Clemson would go bye bye.
Then again, Notre Dame is scheduled to play at Wake Forest that same week since the game’s original September date was cancelled after seven Irish players tested positive for COVID-19 while 12 others were in isolation.
According to ESPN, “The ACC has said, however, that individual schools, states and municipalities will have varying definitions used for contact tracing, which helps explain why Clemson and Florida State might disagree on a specific standard.”
The bottom line: You err on the side of caution.
So Florida State folks were mostly right.
Dabo and Clemson folks?
Not so much.
Source: Forbes – Business